Roquefort riot!

by Joanie on February 12, 2009

in News

Have you all heard about our imperiled Roquefort?

Basically, because the EU refuses to import American hormone-blasted meat – which, if you had a choice, would you? – the Bush administration decided to place a prohibitively high tariff (300%??!!) on Roquefort and other specialty European goods.  Not that President Obama can’t undo this ridiculous tariff, but it’s probably not high on his list, you know?  “Hmmm, first I’ll fix the economy, make an inspiring speech about it, and then I’ll make sure the people have their cheese!!”

What does this mean for you, cheese-lover?  That you may not have much longer to enjoy your precious Roquefort.  I know, even pre-tariff Roquefort is a bit on the pricier side (my former employer is selling it at cost in protest, and even then it’s $20/lb), but if you haven’t had A.O.C. Roquefort, go out and treat yourself to a little slice.  It is a salty, stanky blue cheese, so this one isn’t for amateurs.  If it’s your first time trying Roquefort, pair it with something sweet (like pears or dried fruit) to temper the tanginess.  Otherwise, all you need is a warm baguette!

Or if you’re really feeling adventurous, do like me and make Roquefort ice cream!

This recipe is from adapted from dessert god David Lebovitz.  If you love ice cream, get his cookbook The Perfect Scoop.

Roquefort-Honey Ice Cream

1/2 cup honey (none of this honey bear stuff, go get yourself some good local honey)

4 oz. Roquefort

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

4 egg yolks

In a small saucepan warm the honey, then set aside.  Crumble the Roquefort into a large bowl. Set a mesh strainer over the top.

In a medium saucepan, warm the milk – don’t let it get to boiling.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.  Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan. Over medium heat, stir the mixture constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon.  This will happen very quickly, so pay attention!

Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cheese. Stir until most of the cheese is melted. Stir in the cream and the honey.  Chill custard thoroughly, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  For extra sweetness, swirl in more honey at the end of the churning process.

This ice cream is very cheesey – it preserves much of the flavor of the Roquefort, so don’t make this thinking you’re getting a watered down version of the cheese.  I served mine with some caramelized pears and my dessert guests loved it – but did note that they didn’t think they could have eaten too much of the ice cream on its own.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lance April 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Two words… Holy Crap. I found some Alsace honey with white truffle shavings in it that I’m going to use as the honey for my first attempt with this recipe. I like the idea of contrast as well in my dishes so I need something crunchy like a nut of some kind. I was thinking a toasted hazelnut might be thing perfect addition to sprinkle a tiny amount over the top of the ice cream. That is unless someone else can suggest a better pairing. I’m always open to any ideas.

Lance May 1, 2009 at 4:53 pm

This turned out so well. I served a cannellini bean, fennel, red onion, arugula, moro orange, hazelnut salad with a warm gorgonzola vinigarette dressing followed by a smoked chicken, shallot, hazelnut ravioli with a chardonnay cream sauce and lastly the caramelized, ginger asian pears with the roquefort, white truffle honey ice cream with toasted hazelnuts and pink himalayan salt. All with a very well rounded white burgundy. The wine screamed and wilted when I had a taste of it with the dessert, duh, but the rest of the meal was perfect with it.

Joanie May 7, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Lance – That is a helluva lot of flavor you threw into that ice cream! Toasted hazelnuts (or walnuts) pair beautifully with roquefort, so that was a great addition. I’m curious, did the gingered pears clash at all with the roquefort?

Lance May 30, 2009 at 9:33 am

The ginger was more of a wisp of ginger so they didn’t clash. The additions really just gave it that, hmmm, I taste one more component way in the background that I just can’t put my finger on, but I’m loving it, kind of feeling.

I had to parcel the leftovers out to friends and they all loved it as well. Thanks for the article as I LOVE finding new things to try.

Tonight I’m doing a simple lemon basil sorbet, but I’m trying to find one more ingredient to make it more substantial. But when I’m in a more adventurous mood I’m doing some gazpacho, once the heirloom tomatoes in our little garden mature, with a little quenelle of habanero/pineapple sorbet and a drizzle of basil oil around the whole thing.

Yeah, I cook and paint when I’m feeling creative.

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